Cash Mobs, the Anti-Groupon, Are Coming to a Store Near You

March 5, 2012

The Groupon-led daily deal craze has made shoppers eager to get as much as possible from local shops for as little as possible—even when that turns out to be a terrible deal for the businesses themselves. Now, a new movement in support of local business is turning the flash-sale concept on its head. Participants in “cash mobs” pick a store, then flock to it in droves to pay full-price to support a local business in need.

Filed Under: Commerce

View original article at GOOD Business →

The Groupon-led daily deal craze has made shoppers eager to get as much as possible from local shops for as little as possible—even when that turns out to be a terrible deal for the businesses themselves. Now, a new movement in support of local business is turning the flash-sale concept on its head. Participants in “cash mobs” pick a store, then flock to it in droves to pay full-price to support a local business in need.

The cash mob concept debuted in Buffalo, New York last August, when local engineer Chris Smith organized an outing to a local wine shop. As media outlets picked up the story, local business lovers around the country ran with the idea. A Canadian woman organized 12 cash mobs in a row. A blog created by cash mobbers in Cleveland has turned into a forum for tips to organize a successful event (hint: Incorporate booze whenever possible).

“It’s not just about the money that comes in that day,” Smith told PRI. “It’s about a real small business that doesn’t have a lot of money and a marketing budget. They get a little earned media coverage they wouldn’t normally get that allows them to establish themselves a little bit more.” And just like with Groupon, the end goal is to turn cash mob customers into loyal supporters.

While groups in different cities tweak the rules to suit their needs, the basic principles stay consistent. Organizers use social media to nominate and select a business, participants agree to spend a certain amount (generally $20). Afterwards, celebratory beers are drunk.

Fair Use Notice

This site occasionally reprints copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues and to highlight the accomplishments of our affiliates. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is available without profit. For more information go to: US CODE: Title 17,107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.